Monthly Archives: February 2010

Seeking Spirituality

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I understand what you mean having been tired of “church as usual” and “religion” myself. There was a time in my early 20’s that I found myself not only tired of church folk and religion but I had allowed the world to convince me that Jesus wasn’t truly the Son of God and that there was only one God and so on and so forth.

Being an artist of sorts I found myself surrounded by wonderful, loving, “good” people who were educated with worldly knowledge of astrology, numerology, multiple languages and religions. I was impressed by their knowledge and eventually, I also found myself questioning who Christ was, who He is and questioning the relationship with God that comes from truly knowing Him.

A few years ago when I was working at Smokey Bones, there was a young man named Chris who worked as a busser and was kinda all over the place. He was about 19 years old and a total sweetheart but he was young and didn’t know. We never disagreed on anything, unless he hadn’t been bussin’ my tables all night and asked for a tip out…boy please!? Lol

Anyway, Chris knew I was a follower of Christ and we would often have conversations based on my relationship with Christ and the difference between religion and relationship.  One day, Chris came to me proudly and let me know that he was looking into becoming a Buddhist. I was like, “Okay…why’s that?” I believe that regardless of what you’re into, you ought to be able to support your thinking and beliefs…not to argue with other people, but to make certain that YOU are into. So he responded that he liked Buddhism because of its’ principles based on peace, love and such. And I listened…and after he was done I said, “Okay, so basically, Buddhism has the same principles as Christianity but with Christianity, you have a Savior in Jesus.”  He sat there for a second and replied, “Well yeah, I guess you’re right…”

The problem with Christianity is that it was never meant to be a religion.  In the Bible, you never saw Jesus say ANYTHING to the disciples about starting a religion the way we’ve made it.  Yes we, along with the disciples, were commanded to “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” But that’s all we have been commanded to do besides loving one another as He loves us. MAN made the religion but GOD wants a relationship. 


I say all of this to just say, be careful in your quest for spiritual truth and peace with people.  People get sick of the same old stuff in church and then LEAVE the church!? But we NEED people who aren’t “religious” in the church! We need people who are truly seeking God and who truly love Him and are willing to be a light to not only the world, but to “the saints” who are also a part of the world.  We need people with a heart like yours that long to be reconciled with God and who are willing and able to share the Truth of the Gospel with them. 

Don’t allow yourself to get discouraged in your growing spiritually. As for all the other “religions” and spiritual practices that are out there and seem harmless, again I say, just be careful as you gain knowledge from man.  Continue to study but make certain you are also filling yourself with the Word to stay grounded while you’re learning more about the world that you were physically born into.

If you ever need anything or have questions, please don’t hesitate to holler at me. I’m not your normal “church folk” but I LOVE me some Jesus just the same and am trying with all my might to find a balance between my human me and my spiritual me!

Regarding Tithes & Offering–Monday, November 14, 2005

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Note: February 6, 2010
This blog was written years ago but my ideas are still the same regarding this hot topic.  Just about two weeks ago my friend and writer Jon Goode from Atlanta posed the question on FB asking whether we as parishioners gave concern to how money collected from tithes and offering at church is spent.  I will post more directly from that conversation in the next couple of days.

I personally don’t give thought to it because I trust my pastor, his judgement and his leadership.  I have the same views that I did in 2005 when I first spoke on this issue.

It’s not up to us to determine whether Bishop Jakes and other “megapreachers” are spending the money in the church correctly or not.  People like to judge preachers’ worth by how much money they’re making…or not and what they do with that money.  We forget that Monday-Friday the church is Incorporated and has bills to pay.  One of those bills–paying the leader of that particular house for them and their family to live. 

Preaching even only on Sunday mornings is NO easy task.  There is a LOT that goes into preparing a message for Sunday mornings, Wednesday Bible studies and any other speaking engagements that may be scheduled.  Just in the physical/natural it takes a lot of energy to stand up and give of yourself.  Spiritually…that is a WHOLE other discussion.  Do not forget that pastors/preachers also counsel individuals at VARIOUS times throughout the week and travel ALL across the world in order to deliver the same messages given from the Lord.

Keep in mind that, specifically Bishop Jakes in this case, makes a whole SLEW of money from speaking engagements outside of his church…NUMEROUS books and also music and now film and stage plays.  I’m sayin…all of his money doesn’t come from the church however…if you have a church with over 20,000 members and they tithe and give offering yes, his bills are gonna be paid…and then some. Also, the tithes and offerings given by the people who attend his church are also used to maintain the facilites where these individuals come to worship…so no, all that money is NOT going into his pockets.

It is not his responsibility to provide for his WHOLE congregation but it is his responsibility to teach what “thus sayeth the Lord” and teach people how to live better lives for themselves and for their families. What people do with that information is up to them…not him.

IF a preacher runs off with the money given by the congregation and does wrong with it then he/she WILL reap what they have sown and will be dealt with in some form or fashion by the Lord.  

With that being said: If people made it a point to TRULY grow spiritually and use wisdom coupled with discernment then when dealing with their finances and responsibility regarding the building up of the Kingdom of God, they would know when to give and how much to give to who.  We have to be  mature enough spiritually to hear from the Lord regarding ALL areas of our lives…even who to give our tithes and offering to.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005–Peace in the Kingdom

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I have a sister who asked me to pray for her that she would get her mind off of “him”. She said she’s prayed and prayed about it herself and I realized that I had went through the same thing with my own “him” a few years back and as I was speaking this to her, it ministered to me as well:

If you’re gonna pray for the Lord to take your mind off of a person or thing, pray it once, call it done and move it forward. It didn’t make sense for me to keep going to God sayin, “oh Lord…blah, blah, blah, take my mind off him.” By continuously doing that, my mind was still on HIM!? (the very person I was “praying” I’d get over…)

Instead…to truly find peace, take more time to worship God. Tell God how amazing He is, how wonderful, how merciful. Thank Him for the good times and the lessons learned.
When we get involved in relationships, we tend to give ALL of our energy, time and emotions to that individual and to making it WORK with that individual.  If God were truly our priority, we would take the time to worship and praise God, that way we won’t even be thinking about worshipping and praising him/her.

Nothing and no one deserves all of my energy/emotions BUT God!

My favorite Scripture in life right now…Matt 6:33:
“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things will be added unto you.”

February 6, 2010–Additional thinking:
Although this original blog was in response to someone’s failed relationship, these same principles must be applied to every single area of our lives.  It is a matter of us having our priorities in order.

We have a lot to deal with in the natural world going beyond mere relationships; Finances, education, work, material things, these are all things that can take a toll on our spiritual stability and maturity if we keep our sights on them and not on our life’s purpose and on God.

Seek ye first…